TD Bank urged to exit Eritrea collection scheme

Bank says it's complying with all applicable laws and is investigating claims CBC News Last Updated: May 27, 2013A United Nations report last year indicated that state threats and intimidation were commonly used against families in Eritrea

Bank says it’s complying with all applicable laws and is investigating claims
CBC News
Last Updated: May 27, 2013A United Nations report last year indicated that state threats and intimidation were commonly used against families in Eritrea to get their relatives living in Canada and other countries to pay up. A United Nations report last year indicated that state threats and intimidation were commonly used against families in Eritrea to get their relatives living in Canada and other countries to pay up. (CBC)A Canadian chartered bank being used in Eritrea’s controversial tax collection scheme is being urged to get out of it, CBC world affairs correspondent Rick MacInnes-Rae reports today from Winnipeg.

The UN says Eritrea relies on threats and coercion to extract two per cent of the income from Eritrean citizens in Canada. In Winnipeg, the money is then funnelled to the East-African dictatorship via Toronto-Dominion Bank, documents obtained by CBC News show.
Hear Rick MacInnes-Rae’s report

They show two branches of TD Bank are favoured by the man Eritrea designates to deal with the diaspora.

TD Bank is his vehicle for wiring money to the DZ Bank in Frankfurt, Germany, which routs it to a bank owned by the ruling party in Eritrea, a country under UN sanction for supporting armed insurgents in east Africa, MacInnes-Rae reports.

Ghazae Hagos, of the Eritrean-Canadian Human Rights Group of Manitoba, says Eritrea is moving the money through banks instead of its Toronto Consulate to sidestep Canada’s recent ban on moving it through the consulate in Toronto.

Contacted by CBC News, the banks were terse.

TD issued a brief email saying it’s complying with all applicable laws and is “investigating the claims addressed by the CBC.”

The bank said it has “rigorous controls to ensure we comply with Canadian economic sanctions regulations.”

That theme was echoed by the DZ Bank, the bigger link in the chain since it deals directly with Eritrea, even though the German government frowns on the tax collections, MacInnes-Rae reports.

“All the transactions we carried out” DZ says, “were in compliance with the provisions of the European Union and the embargo regulations.”

Neither bank responded to requests for interviews.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2013/05/27/audio-eritrea-tdbank.html?cmp=rss

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39 COMMENTS
  • vick June 4, 2013

    I really feel sorry for my fellow ERITREANS what they are going through.
    I feel the crying mother who never excepted to be neglected by her own goverment.
    I always cry when I hear bad news about eritreans, I lay back and think about the past and hard for me to accept it right now I came to a conclusion that this evil president really betrayed the whole nation, now I understand what their aim is.
    Now I know that they abuse the people purposely so that they will Be in power forever.
    This president is destroying eritreans life from the root so that we will be weakend from inside out. This evil leadership need to be defeated by any means.
    GOD BLESS ERITREA AND IT’S PEOPLE FOREVER

    • bico June 8, 2013

      Vick you are a paid idiot,,,,Eritrea and its leadership will do all they can to do their best to boost Eritrean economy to help.their people.

      god bless ERITREA AND its hard working people,

      gaim kan norway

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